Monday, June 11, 2007

the crying game

Recently Kayla has been, what seems to me, regressing in her sleeping habits. For over a week now, she's been waking up at odd hours in the morning wide awake and not falling back asleep (which means both of us are not sleeping) and seemingly harder to get to bed for naps and even her regular bedtime.

This past weekend we were going to try unswaddling her again, but that attempt failed. So today, after much wrestling, mostly with myself because hubby was all for it on the weekend, we tried the "cry it out" approach. I was never a firm supporter of this method. I don't have the heart or stomach for it, however, Baby K turned 5 months old today and developmentally she is ready for sleeping on her own.

So I put away my fears that it would destroy her trust in us or that it would hurt her, and we tried it.

Since we have a video monitor, we were able to turn the volume off (so I couldn't hear her cries) and instead watched her (to make sure she was okay) on the screen. At first she was okay, only soft little complaints, but after 5 minutes, she started wailing. Boy, can she scream! Even with the volume off, we could still hear her downstairs. Then after a brief check-in by hubby, the miraculous happened... she fell quite, started to move around less and eventually fell asleep.

To my surprise it only took a half hour. I was expecting worse - at least over an hour. And the bonus: since we were trying this new approach we had to leave her unswaddled so at least she could comfort herself by finding her fingers. So now it looks like we've killed two birds with one stone!

Even through all this, I still have some reservations about the whole approach and will wait to see how she behaves tomorrow morning before I'm a believer in the method. It's a big step and learning for me because it goes against every instinct I have as a mom to hear and see your child in distress and not respond. But just like Kayla, I think I needed the 5 months also to grow and get ready for the crying game.

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